Friday, December 6, 2013

Another year almost gone

So, I have continued to run, train, generally live my life, everything I've done for the last several years, except post here (or the other blog). Life gets in the way more than I'd like, but in some way, the lack of posting indicates that I'm active and healthy.

So much has happened this year that summing it all up would be really hard and kinda dull for anyone else but myself. A couple of quick highlights from the year: my son joined Cub Scouts and I'm an Assistant Den Leader, so we have a lot of fun with that. We took a trip to Walt Disney World right after Thanksgiving that was a great break from work and a nice way to get into the holiday spirit. 

I ran a few races this year and enjoyed running them. Training was sometimes a struggle, but right around the time I ran the Twin Cities Marathon I realized that I needed to relax about how I trained and ran races. I'm still happy with my paces and race times, but I had to accept that I may not get much faster or be able to continually set PRs in every race. Now, I'm not saying I'll just slow down and accept a longer race time or a pace that would be much slower than the past couple of years, but I'm getting smarter about how to train for the race and the course.

For example, training for the Dopey Challenge in January (5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Full Marathon on consecutive days) is going much better once I realized that trying to train for a specific goal time in the full makes little sense. I have three races in three days to run before I line up for the full and I needed to adjust my thinking about what kind of race I want to run. I don't plan on going too slowly, but I'm not trying to run a fast time (for me). Instead, I'm trying to focus on keeping a comfortable pace so that Sunday morning, when I line up to start the marathon, I won't feel drained and dreading the next 4-5 hours I'll be running.

It is very liberating to have realized that training doesn't have to be driven by a goal time. That only makes sense if you're running a couple races a year and can devote time to proper recovery. But since I tend to run a race every 6-8 weeks, I need to learn better strategies to be race ready without burning out or getting injured. Time will tell if I learn that lesson or not, but I'd like to think I have.

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